King Peso

About the Book by Carmen Amato

KING PESO is the fourth book in the sensational Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series recently optioned for both television and film. Emilia is the first female police detective in Acapulco, where Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money.

King Peso CoverThree cops are murdered, execution style. Emilia worked with them all.

Her partner’s wife is killed in a home invasion. Was he the real target?

Is Emilia the next?

She hopes to be assigned to a task force to investigate the killings, but is instead directed to a new police unit championed by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor and overseen by a shady union strongman. But when Emilia stumbles upon a falsified report, she will conduct a private investigation, even as another murder victim carries a stark message for her.

Home is no refuge for Emilia; hotel manager Kurt Rucker has a shocking secret that could tear their relationship apart.

Unexpected help comes from a frightened attorney and a famous movie star, but each new clue to the murders unravels the one before. Meanwhile, Emilia’s ongoing hunt for a missing girl, a continuing series subplot, leads to the infamous El Pharaoh casino, a place she knows only too well.

What do a casino and a cop killer have in common? Emilia bets on her partner, but his gamble could cost both their lives.

Enter the contest below and follow the tour for excerpts from the book. See the special offer for a Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library below…

We asked Carmen how she researches the police procedural part of her novels and here is what she shared with us.

When I write the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series, I do it from Emilia’s deep point of view. Through Emilia’s experiences, I want the reader to feel the heat of Acapulco’s sun, the smell of the salt tang coming off the ocean, and the fear of being a cop in one of the most beautiful and dangerous cities in the world.

Being a cop in Mexico is different than being a cop in the US. There are different laws and judicial practices. While Mexico’s forensic sciences are as up to date, many smaller towns don’t have the skilled staff or equipment which means the chain of evidence can be broken. Corruption within police departments is a factor, as is long-standing friction between local cops and national law enforcement often complicate big investigations. I use investigative news sources like and articles by noted Mexican law scholar John Ackerman to research Mexican law enforcement issues.

Drug money is the common denominator for most of the crime I write about. There’s so much to be made from illicit drugs that it’s hard to resist. This means that the Detective Emilia Cruz books are more focused on interpersonal relationships and motives than forensics or technology.

Emilia’s secret weapon is the timeline she makes for each case. She plots out every clue, every connection, and in the process she’ll find out who was involved in the crime.

I write about people who face hard things like discrimination, violence, and corruption. But Detective Emilia Cruz and the rest of the cast of the mystery series set in Acapulco will always live to fight another day. Moreover, Emilia has someone to stand and fight beside her. Readers really love the connection between Emilia and hotel manager Kurt Rucker.

Thanks so much for having me here today. I’d like to invite all of your readers to experience Emilia’s world with a free download of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. The Starter Library features “The Beast,” the story about how Emilia became the first female detective in Acapulco, which was first published in The Huffington Post. You’ll also get “The Angler,” the story based on a real life murder mystery, plus the first chapters of the first three Emilia Cruz novels. As a bonus, you’ll get my monthly newsletter, Mystery Ahead.

You can click here to be taken to the Starter Library page.

Thanks again!

All the best, Carmen

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Author PhotoAbout the Author

Carmen Amato is the author of romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco which was recently optioned for film. Originally from New York, her experiences in Mexico and Central America inspire many of her books. For a copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library, visit her website at


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6 Responses to King Peso

  1. Nikolina

    I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

  2. Trix

    I’m definitely intrigued!

  3. bernie wallace

    What is the best book taht you read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win.

  4. Victoria

    Really great excerpt, I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. So glad to connect with everybody here. Don’t forget to grab a copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library at